Forterra fills an important niche as the largest conservation and community building organization dedicated to the Cascade and Olympic Peninsula regions. As a national leader, Forterra is shaping a future that will flourish both environmentally and economically. We partner with thousands of leaders and residents across the region to create healthy, livable, and prosperous communities. For over 20 years, Forterra has led efforts to conserve more than 180,000 acres of forests, farms, shorelines, parks and natural areas, and restore critical landscapes. This preservation and restoration of our farms and forests has a major impact on biocarbon storage and climate in our region.
This important work is accomplished with a wide variety of programs and tools. They include:
Green City Partnerships
Many of our region’s parks and greenbelts are heavily infested with English ivy, Himalayan blackberry, and other invasive plants which keep our needed native trees from returning. Green City Partnerships (GCPs) engage the community to restore ailing urban forests and natural areas to create healthy, livable cities. We harness the power of our communities to save beloved urban forested parks and green spaces. GCPs are collaborations between Forterra, community groups, and local municipalities (parks departments, public works, utilities, and other government agencies). The hundreds of thousands of trees planted through these partnerships will work to sequester thousands of tons of carbon over their lifetime.
Forterra recognizes that great cities and towns in which we choose to live, work and raise our families are critical for protecting our rural wild and working lands from sprawling development. As such, we are partnering with City leaders, community members, fellow nonprofits, and more to advance programs and policies that create safe, compact, desirable communities with a vibrant mix of people, jobs, public gathering places, transportation options, cultural anchors, and retail establishments. This work includes advancing Complete Streets policies, greenspace and community garden programs (which enhance biocarbon storage), influencing redevelopment plans, supporting transit oriented development, and much more. Supporting dense, vibrant communities will be a major driver in energy reduction, particularly fossil fuel use.
Traditional and Cutting Edge Conservation
Forterra employs traditional land conservation methods such as land purchases and donations, conservation easements, and ownership agreements. We also use innovative conservation tools like Transfer of Development Rights and the Landscape Conservation and Landscape Infrastructure Program, a tool Forterra led through the 2011 legislative session. The Program combines transfer of development rights with tax increment financing to conserve rural agriculture and forest lands and provide funding for cities to make infrastructure improvements.
Ecosystem Service Markets
Forterra celebrates the value of our natural resources. Finding new ways to protect and restore our farms and forests is critical if we want to achieve our mission, and exploring the many values of these resources helps accomplish this goal. Clean abundant water has value for farmers, fish, tourism, and many others. Often these members of our region would be willing and eager to pay to provide for this resource; however no method currently exists for this exchange. Forterra is invested in removing the hurdles and building the tools and systems necessary to allow for equitable market-based and regulatory exchange for our valued resources. This effort includes exploration into carbon markets and the value of sequestered biocarbon.